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Electronic Monitoring of Domestic Violence Cases: A Study of Two Bilateral Programs

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2004
6 pages
This study examined two bilateral electronic monitoring (BEM) programs for domestic violence (DV) cases.
There has been limited systematic research concerning the use of electronic monitoring for persons charged or convicted of DV. In DV cases, surveillance and control technology is not only used for control of the perpetrator, but for protection of the victim, requiring their participation in the BEM program. The current study examined key aspects of two BEM programs for DV cases located in two Midwestern States. Data included official records from the probation department; in-depth interviews with victims (30), defendants and convicted offenders (27), criminal justice professionals (34), and victim assistance professionals (8); and field observations of equipment installation, program explanation to participants, and supervisory visits. Results revealed that most referrals to both BEM programs were made by lower courts, but the type of defendant referred to BEM differed between programs. One of the programs only considered cases in which the victim was judged to have no further contact with the defendant. This approach was considered unresponsive to research about the “cycle of violence.” The processes of restriction also varied between programs, with one having much more flexible supervision and restriction requirements. Despite their differences, victims involved with both programs perceived increased safety as a result of the program. Other jurisdictions should consider the use of BEM for DV cases. References, endnotes

Date Published: June 1, 2004